I drove down to Bend to help Christopher out when he had his wisdom teeth removed. I'm really glad we live close enough and my schedule is flexible enough to be able to do things like that. Last year I was able to drive down a few times to help him get settled in to his new apartment and get things up and running. It's nice to be close enough to help him out but far enough away that we don't intrude (too much) on his life.
But when I drive down to Bend on my own (Brent was away recruiting veterans at Michigan, yes, it almost seemed tailor made for him) I have HOURS in the car by myself. I listen to the radio and I'm driving and those two things aren't quite enough to keep my head busy so I also think. I think about my life. I think about things that have happened. I think about things that might happen. I think about everything. And, of course, I think about stories I want to tell. And stories I don't ever want to tell again. It can be an overwhelming amount of thinking that happens.
Yesterday on the drive home I thought about books on tape, or I guess they are just called audio books now, and if listening to them on the drive would be enough to keep my head busy. I don't usually listen to audio books unless I am able to just sit and listen. I want to get as lost in the story as I can. So I don't listen while I am working out or driving or cleaning or anything else. Just when I can sit and let someone tell me a story. So I decided that wouldn't change at all just because I was driving to and from Bend. I would still resent the intrusion on my story time of actually having to pay attention to the other drivers.
I had bad insomnia last night, is it just me or does the full moon make everyone's insomnia worse? And as I was laying awake thinking about the stories from my drive I thought, "Does everyone like to be told stories?" I thought about asking the question here but then had to laugh (quietly, Brent does not suffer from insomnia, at least not until the next day when he deals with lack of sleep me) when I realized that this is not exactly a good scientific pool to survey. I mean you wouldn't be here if you didn't like stories right? That's all I do. Tell stories; my stories, bar people stories, Aska and Deidre's stories, stories of people who have no names but STILL have stories to tell. It's all stories. So I have to assume you like stories. Either that or you are burning off karma which is a story all by itself and you should share it with me sometime...
As I was driving to and from Bend and taking in the cars and the people and the leaves changing (seriously gorgeous on Highway 22 up where it's already cold at night, pops of bright red, orange and yellow just glowing) I was thinking about all of the stories going on around me. Driving down to Bend I took what we call the top way, and it took me through Warm Springs. The fire damage from this summer was heartbreaking to see. Just so much desolation. On the way back I took the bottom route. The recovery from older fires is starting there. Which then made me think again about Warm Springs and how long will it take for that area to recover? And what will the changes be? Fire is good for an ecosystem in a lot of ways. It adds nutrients to soil, it brings plants out that get crowded out by too much shade and over brush. It clears out the dead and dying pieces. Small fires are healthy for a system. Big fires? Not as much. They take out everything. The healthy as well as the dead. It's life right? We need to clear out the old stuff from time to time and if we don't we risk burning it all down around us.
Yes, this is the way my head works while I am driving.
And then I have story fragments that float up and down in my head. And I wonder, "Is this something I've already written or something I should write? Is this a story that is forming or a poem? Or is it neither and just boredom?" Then I laugh. Because I'm crazy. No, I mean because I'm rarely bored. Bored to me means it's time to change what I am doing. Bored doesn't usually happen when I'm just alone with my thoughts. Because I have some really crazy thoughts... best not to get complacent with them. But as dangerous as they can be, they are almost always entertaining.
So tell me...what are your favorite types of stories? The ones you tell yourself or the ones other people tell you?